Letters to Redmond

Readers Respond June 2005

Agreement, appreciation and clarification -- readers remark on past issues.

Unwritten Laws
At our company, we have one of the healthiest systems in place for content monitoring ["Content Cops," May 2005].

Everybody knows the (extremely strict) policies about what is allowed, what's not, and everything gets logged. However, as long as your work is done and you're not detected as placing the company at risk, anything goes.

If an employee logs on at work for a little early-morning porn, but he works hard and meets all his deadlines, then the IT guys will never get to devour such an employee. However, as soon as someone is under-achieving, then he might be placed under "investigation" by—and only by—his manager. A usage report (log files and timing records) gets requested from IT, but going forward, everything is handled by management and human resources.

In fact, if anyone in IT were to mention anything about the report to anyone, he would be prosecuted for violating the confidentiality clause, and under our company policy, could suffer an immediate dismissal. So it seems as if the law is on the side of the "criminal" after all.
—Erin Lalor
Cape Town, South Africa

Footsteps
Plainly, there's not enough time, energy or willpower to educate end users to protect themselves from unwanted ads, viruses and spyware, or find enough qualified computer techs to thwart the growing problem. I can't stress enough how wholeheartedly I support Doug Barney's article [Chief Concerns: "Policing the 'Net," May 2005] and how badly we need to take back control over the most powerful and used tool in the world today.

It should not be in the best interest of the government to deal with the growing problems of Internet violators, but rather, it should be the only interest of our government. We may win the war in Iraq to stop terrorism and protect our children's lives, but we're losing the war in our own homes for our children's minds. Set up the laws and enforce the laws! It's not just for us today, but for everybody who follows in our footsteps.
—Joshua Wragg
Jupiter, Fla.

Dead Horse
Doug Barney's Chief Concerns is the first column I read in the magazine because it seems to set the tone for the issue.

As to his woes ["A Tragedy of Errors," April 2005], all I can say is I walked someone through the same process the other day after they failed.

Understanding how the router works is the key to getting past the "plug-and-play" problems.

This stuff will never be easy because it's technical. Even NASA was surprised that the Rovers worked so well.

As Keith Ward mentioned in his piece on p. 63 ["The Death of Paper MCSEs," April 2005]—he couldn't pass a test now because he doesn't do the stuff—it reveals that tech people are the doctors of the IT industry. Good doctors have good experience and "in-the-trenches" horse sense.
—Curt Spanburgh
San Diego, Calif.

Rockin' in the Real World
Gary Olsen rocks ["Real-World GPMC Troubleshooting" February 2005]! I couldn't find much on GPMC on the Web, especially Microsoft's support Web site, and his walkthrough gave great information on it and helped me figure out what was wrong with our policies. Thanks!
—James Krolak
Brooklyn Center, Minn.

In Sync: Effusia Business Messenger 4.0
Thank you for evaluating Effusia Business Messenger in "Talk Among Yourselves" [Redmond Roundup, February 2005]. I noticed in your review a heavy emphasis (50 percent weight) on Active Directory integration. I wanted to inform your readers we released Effusia Business Messenger 4.0 last December, which includes AD integration plus Triple DES file transfer encryption. Our goal is to make Effusia easy to install, use and administer and the addition of AD synchronization makes it a breeze for larger clients to install our secure messenger product company-wide.
—Hayes Davis
CEO, Liquid Communication Systems

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